Psalm 100:3
Know you that the LORD he is God: it is he that has made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) And not we ourselves.—Most commentators now prefer the reading “His we are,” as keeping the parallelism better, besides having great MS. support. The concluding part of the verse is an echo of Psalm 95:7.

Psalm 100:3-5. Know that the Lord — Hebrews Jehovah, he is God — The only living and true God; a being infinitely perfect, self-existent, and self- sufficient; and the fountain of all being; the first cause and last end of all things. It is he that hath made us — Not only by creation, but by regeneration, which is also called a creation, because by it we are made his people. Hence we owe him homage and service, and him only. and not other gods, who did neither make nor new-make us. He, and he only, hath an incontestable right to, and in us, and all things. His we are, to be influenced by his power, disposed of by his will, and devoted to his honour and glory. We are his people — Or subjects, and he is our prince or governor that gives law to us, as moral agents, and will call us to an account for what we do; the sheep of his pasture — Or, as the Hebrew may be rendered, the flock of his feeding, whom he takes care of and provides for. He that made us, maintains us, and gives us all things richly to enjoy. For the Lord is good — Infinite in goodness, and therefore doeth good. His mercy is everlasting — Is a fountain that can never be drawn dry. His truth endureth to all generations — And no word of his shall fall to the ground as antiquated or revoked: his promises are sure to all the faithful, from age to age. If this Psalm be considered as prophetical of the calling both of Jews and Gentiles to the profession of the gospel, then by the gates of Zion, Psalm 100:4, must be mystically understood the Christian Church. 100:1-5 An exhortation to praise God, and rejoice in him. - This song of praise should be considered as a prophecy, and even used as a prayer, for the coming of that time when all people shall know that the Lord he is God, and shall become his worshippers, and the sheep of his pasture. Great encouragement is given us, in worshipping God, to do it cheerfully. If, when we strayed like wandering sheep, he has brought us again to his fold, we have indeed abundant cause to bless his name. The matter of praise, and the motives to it, are very important. Know ye what God is in himself, and what he is to you. Know it; consider and apply it, then you will be more close and constant, more inward and serious, in his worship. The covenant of grace set down in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, with so many rich promises, to strengthen the faith of every weak believer, makes the matter of God's praise and of his people's joys so sure, that how sad soever our spirits may be when we look to ourselves, yet we shall have reason to praise the Lord when we look to his goodness and mercy, and to what he has said in his word for our comfort.Know ye that the Lord, he is God - That is, Let all the nations know that Yahweh is the true God. The idols are vanity. They have no claim to worship; but God is the Creator of all, and is entitled to universal adoration.

It is he that hath made us - The Hebrew is, "He made us," and this expresses the exact idea. The fact that he is the Creator proves that he is God, since no one but God can perform the work of creation. The highest idea that we can form of power is that which is evinced in an act of creation; that is, in causing anything to exist where there was nothing before. Every created thing, therefore, is a proof of the existence of God; the immensity of the universe is an illustration of the greatness of his power.

And not we ourselves - Margin, "And his we are." The difference between the text and the margin is owing to a different reading in the Hebrew, varying only in a single letter. The reading in the text is, "And not (לא lo') we;" in the margin, "And to him (לו lô) we." These words would be pronounced in the same manner, and either of them would convey good sense. The weight of authority is in favor of the common reading, "And not we;" that is, We are not self-created; we derive our being from him. All that we have and are, we owe to him.

We are his people - By virtue of creation. The highest "property" which can exist is that derived from an act of creation. He that has brought anything into existence has a right to it, and may dispose of it as he pleases. It is on this idea essentially that all idea of "property" is founded.

And the sheep of his pasture - As the shepherd owns the flock, so God is our owner; as the shepherd guards his flock and provides for it, so God guards us and provides for us. See the notes at Psalm 95:7.

3. To the obligations of a creature and subject is added that of a beneficiary (Ps 95:7). It is he that hath made us; both by creation, and by adoption and regeneration, whereby he made us his people, which also is called a creation or making, as Deu 32:6 Isaiah 29:23 43:7 Ephesians 2:10.

And not we ourselves; therefore we owe him homage and service, and him only, and not other gods, who made us not. Know ye that the Lord he is God,.... Own and acknowledge him to be God, as well as man; and though a man, yet not a mere man, but the great God and our Saviour, the true God and eternal life; so a man, as that he is Jehovah's fellow; or our God, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions; Immanuel, God with us, God in our nature, God manifest in the flesh:

it is he that hath made us; as men, without whom nothing is made that was made; in him we live, move, and have our being; and, as new creatures, we are his workmanship, created in him, and by him; regenerated by his Spirit and grace, and formed for himself, his service and glory; and made great and honourable by him, raised from a low to an high estate; from being beggars on the dunghill, to sit among princes; yea, made kings and priests unto God by him; so, Kimchi,

"he hath brought us up, and exalted us:''

and not we ourselves; that is, did not make ourselves, neither as creatures, nor as new creatures; as we have no hand in making either our souls or bodies, so neither in our regeneration, or in the work of God upon our hearts; that is solely the Lord's work: there is a double reading of this clause; the marginal reading is,

and we are his; which is followed by the Targum and Aben Ezra: both are approved of by Kimchi, and the sense of both is included; for if the Lord has made us, and not we ourselves, then we are not our own, but his, and ought to serve and glorify him: we are his by creation; "we are also his offspring", as said Aratus (d), an Heathen poet, cited by the Apostle Paul, Acts 17:28,

we are his people; by choice and covenant; by his Father's gift, and his own purchase; and by the power of his grace, bringing to a voluntary surrender and subjection to him; even the Gentiles particularly, who were not his people, but now his people, 1 Peter 2:9,

and the sheep of his pasture; his sheep also by gift and purchase, called by him, made to know his voice, and follow him; for whom he provides pasture, leads to it, and feeds them with it himself; see Psalm 74:1.

(d) . Arati Phaenomena, v. 5.

Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath {b} made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

(b) He chiefly means concerning spiritual regeneration, by which we are his sheep and people.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. Know that Jehovah is God:

He it is that made us, and we are his,

His people and the sheep of his pasture.

Learn from the works that He has wrought for Israel that Jehovah is the only true God. Cp. Psalm 46:10; Deuteronomy 7:9. He made Israel of old to be a people for Himself (Deuteronomy 32:6; Deuteronomy 32:15; Psalm 95:6), and now He has once more made them a nation (Isaiah 60:21). In spite of their sins He has not disowned them; they can still with confidence claim His care and guidance.

The A.V. and not we ourselves follows the K’thîbh, which is supported by the LXX, Syr., and Symm. The A.V. marg. and R.V. we are his., follow the Q’rç, which is supported by the Targ., Jer., and Aq.[55] Though the antithesis he and not we ourselves gives a good sense, the reading we are his is far more significant, as adding a fresh thought. Moreover it agrees best with the construction of the verse in the Heb., and it is supported by the parallels in Psalm 95:7; Isaiah 43:1, cp. Isaiah 43:21, Isaiah 44:2.

[55] The Heb. words for not and to him (= his) are pronounced identically () though differently spelt (לֹא, לוֹ): hence the confusion between the readings not we and to him we = his (are) we was easy.Verse 3. - Know ye that the Lord he is God; or, be sure - "recognize the fact as a certainty" (see the Prayer book Version). It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; or, according to another reading, and his are we. This latter reading is preferred by De Wette, Kay, Cheyne, and the Revised Version. But the other, which was the reading of the LXX., and is supported by the Vulgate and the old commentators generally, should, however, be retained, as yielding a better sense (see the arguments of Hengstenberg, 'Commentary on the Psalms,' vol. 3. p. 201, Engl. trans.). We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture (comp. Psalm 74:1; Psalm 79:13; Psalm 95:7). The vision of the third Sanctus looks into the history of the olden time prior to the kings. In support of the statement that Jahve is a living God, and a God who proves Himself in mercy and in judgment, the poet appeals to three heroes of the olden time, and the events recorded of them. The expression certainly sounds as though it had reference to something belonging to the present time; and Hitzig therefore believes that it must be explained of the three as heavenly intercessors, after the manner of Onias and Jeremiah in the vision 2 Macc. 15:12-14. But apart from this presupposing an active manifestation of life on the part of those who have fallen happily asleep, which is at variance with the ideas of the latest as well as of the earliest Psalms concerning the other world, this interpretation founders upon Psalm 99:7, according to which a celestial discourse of God with the three "in the pillar of cloud" ought also to be supposed. The substantival clauses Psalm 99:6 bear sufficient evident in themselves of being a retrospect, by which the futures that follow are stamped as being the expression of the contemporaneous past. The distribution of the predicates to the three is well conceived. Moses was also a mighty man in prayer, for with his hands uplifted for prayer he obtained the victory for his people over Amalek (Exodus 17:11.), and on another occasion placed himself in the breach, and rescued them from the wrath of God and from destruction (Psalm 106:23; Exodus 32:30-32; cf. also Numbers 12:13); and Samuel, it is true, is only a Levite by descent, but by office in a time of urgent need a priest (cohen), for he sacrifices independently in places where, by reason of the absence of the holy tabernacle with the ark of the covenant, it was not lawful, according to the letter of the law, to offer sacrifices, he builds an altar in Ramah, his residence as judge, and has, in connection with the divine services on the high place (Bama) there, a more than high-priestly position, inasmuch as the people do not begin the sacrificial repasts before he has blessed the sacrifice (1 Samuel 9:13). But the character of a mighty man in prayer is outweighed in the case of Moses by the character of the priest; for he is, so to speak, the proto-priest of Israel, inasmuch as he twice performed priestly acts which laid as it were a foundation for all times to come, viz., the sprinkling of the blood at the ratification of the covenant under Sinai (Exodus 24), and the whole ritual which was a model for the consecrated priesthood, at the consecration of the priests (Leviticus 8). It was he, too, who performed the service in the sanctuary prior to the consecration of the priests: he set the shew-bread in order, prepared the candlestick, and burnt incense upon the golden altar (Exodus 40:22-27). In the case of Samuel, on the other hand, the character of the mediator in the religious services is outweighed by that of the man mighty in prayer: by prayer he obtained Israel the victory of Ebenezer over the Philistines (1 Samuel 7:8.), and confirmed his words of warning with the miraculous sign, that at his calling upon God it would thunder and rain in the midst of a cloudless season (1 Samuel 12:16, cf. Sir. 46:16f.).

The poet designedly says: Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel among His praying ones. This third twelve-line strophe holds good, not only of the three in particular, but of the twelve-tribe nation of priests and praying ones to which they belong. For Psalm 99:7 cannot be meant of the three, since, with the exception of a single instance (Numbers 12:5), it is always Moses only, not Aaron, much less Samuel, with whom God negotiates in such a manner. אליהם refers to the whole people, which is proved by their interest in the divine revelation given by the hand of Moses out of the cloudy pillar (Exodus 33:7.). Nor can Psalm 99:6 therefore be understood of the three exclusively, since there is nothing to indicate the transition from them to the people: crying (קראים, syncopated like חטאים, 1 Samuel 24:11) to Jahve, i.e., as often as they (these priests and praying ones, to whom a Moses, Aaron, and Samuel belong) cried unto Jahve, He answered them-He revealed Himself to this people who had such leaders (choragi), in the cloudy pillar, to those who kept His testimonies and the law which He gave them. A glance at Psalm 99:8 shows that in Israel itself the good and the bad, good and evil, are distinguished. God answered those who could pray to Him with a claim to be answered. Psalm 99:7, is, virtually at least, a relative clause, declaring the prerequisite of a prayer that may be granted. In Psalm 99:8 is added the thought that the history of Israel, in the time of its redemption out of Egypt, is not less a mirror of the righteousness of God than of the pardoning grace of God. If Psalm 99:7-8 are referred entirely to the three, then עלילות and נקם, referred to their sins of infirmity, appear to be too strong expressions. But to take the suffix of עלילותם objectively (ea quae in eos sunt moliti Core et socii ejus), with Symmachus (καὶ ἔκδικος ἐπὶ ταῖς ἐπηρείναις αὐτῶν) and Kimchi, as the ulciscens in omnes adinventiones eorum of the Vulgate is interpreted,

(Note: Vid., Raemdonck in his David propheta cet. 1800: in omnes injurias ipsis illatas, uti patuit in Core cet.)

is to do violence to it. The reference to the people explains it all without any constraint, and even the flight of prayer that comes in here (cf. Micah 7:18). The calling to mind of the generation of the desert, which fell short of the promise, is an earnest admonition for the generation of the present time. The God of Israel is holy in love and in wrath, as He Himself unfolds His Name in Exodus 34:6-7. Hence the poet calls upon his fellow-countrymen to exalt this God, whom they may with pride call their own, i.e., to acknowledge and confess His majesty, and to fall down and worship at (ל cf. אל, Psalm 5:8) the mountain of His holiness, the place of His choice and of His presence.

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